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Aecon dividend going up following higher Q4 profit, revenue

TORONTO – Aecon Group Inc. (TSX:ARE) stock was up slightly Wednesday in the first trading since the Toronto-based construction company announced its quarterly dividend will be rising amid improved results and a solid backlog of future work.

The shares rose 63 cents to $12.07 at mid-morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company, which has one of Canada’s largest construction businesses, announced after markets closed Tuesday that its quarterly dividend will rise to eight cents on April 1 from seven cents per quarter.

Aecon said it had a $2.4-billion backlog of orders at the end of 2012.

The company reported $77.9 million of profit attributable to shareholders in 2012, including $56.4 million in the fourth quarter — almost as much as the 2011 full-year profit of $57.6 million. The fourth-quarter profit in 2011 was $36.7 million.

Aecon’s stock has recovered since November, when the shares hit a 52-week low of $9.48, but remains below February’s recent highs.